Ex-Dundee defender backed by Dundee United boss Ray McKinnon to handle Sunday’s Betfred Cup derby

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DUNDEE UNITED manager Ray McKinnon has backed Lewis Toshney to handle crossing the city divide in Sunday’s Betfred Cup derby.

The Tangerines make the short journey up the road to face neighbours Dundee at Dens Park and very few in McKinnon’s new-look side will be able to draw on experience of the fixture.

Toshney, born and bred in the city, is one who knows what the rivalry is all about – but from the other side.

The 25-year-old joined the Dark Blues on a season-long loan from Celtic in 2012 and made 26 appearances – including two against United – as they suffered relegation from the Premiership.

Now in his second campaign at Tannadice, the versatile defender is certain to be the target of the Dundee boo boys on his return to the club.

But McKinnon has no worries the Scotland under-21 cap will be able to cope with the red-hot atmosphere of the first derby since Dundee relegated United in May last year.

McKinnon said: “It won’t faze Tosh. He’ll just go out and give everything.

“He gets it in the neck both sides anyway! So, I don’t think it will make any difference.

“He’ll just go out and give everything. He’s a good character and he’ll handle it.

“He’s done well. Last year he really struggled and never got a proper pre-season in.

“But he’s had a good pre-season and he’s come back one of the fittest players.

“He’s done well and got himself in good shape. He’ll do well on Saturday, it won’t faze him.”

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